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Gap year in Russia

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I'm considering doing a gap year in Russia for six months from January 2014 (aged 18) and was wondering if some more experienced travellers could comment on the feasibility of my plans. At the moment I just have the big idea and need to explore my options.

I plan to spend four months preparing to go out there by learning Russian and reading as much Russian literature and history as possible. And also getting a job! (Sadly a first)

I would fly out to St Petersburg or Moscow. The intention is to have a job lined up out there (does anyone know any ways of making this happen?) and do that for any amount of time and just live and experience either one or both of these great cities.

With some money obtained I would then travel the trans-Siberian railway at a very leisurely place. I'm interested in doing some labour as a farm hand or whatever and living with a family. I would also like to do some trekking along the way and spend a while playing rugby at a club somewhere. Ultimately, I would go all the way through Russia and finish up in Beijing.

The big questions I have are thus: How much money do you think I will need? Will I be able to get a job out there? How much of the language can I learn in four months and if it is not much, will that be an obstacle? Is six months too long for a lone traveller? Is travelling for that long in Russia safe?

Any replies to those would be hugely appreciated. As I say, I've got what I think is a great idea but I'm just really unsure whether it's practical.

Thank you,


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